Sick teacher who had fetish for spanking schoolboys jailed over decades of abuse at top Altrincham Catholic school

A Catholic science teacher with a fetish for spanking schoolboys has been jailed for nine years after abusing pupils over two decades at an Altrincham school.

Deacon Alan Morris, 64, of Rivington Road, Hale, preyed on young boys during his time at St Ambrose RC College, an all-boys grammar school where a ‘culture of abuse was rife’.

Morris used religious corporal punishment as a ‘cloak’ for his abuse at the top Catholic school, from which he gained his own sick sexual gratification.

He was able to conduct his campaign of terror – lasting for almost 20 years, between 1972 and 1991 – because his ‘fearsome’ reputation meant victims were too terrified to speak out.

Detective Chief Inspector Chris Bridge said: “For decades, Morris displayed a veneer of total respectability: a science teacher in a well-respected and high-performing school and latterly as a deacon of the church.

“Today he has been unmasked as a persistent and prolific sex offender.

“A self-proclaimed ‘chief policeman’, I have no doubt that he revelled in his fearsome reputation, taking it upon himself to seek out and punish pupils, using corporal punishment to cloak his real motive for chastising young boys – sexual gratification.

“His campaign of abuse lasted the best part of 20 years and has had a deep and lasting impact on his victims.”

Chemistry teacher Morris had an array of implements that he would use to administer corporal punishment at the school.

He even became Head of Discipline at the school and went so far as to seek out pupils who were misbehaving during break times, ensuring that they were punished for their ‘misdemeanours’.

The former teacher, who occasionally taught religious education, would often ‘punish’ the boys in a small room away from his chemistry lab and the gaze of other pupils and teachers.

It was apparent to the boys being punished that Morris got sexually aroused by what he was doing.

Occasionally, he forced some boys to ‘punish’ one another.

Joanna White, Senior Crown Prosecutor for the CPS North West Complex Casework Unit, added: “Alan Morris abused his position of power within the school to prey on vulnerable young boys.

“He utilised the ability to carry out corporal punishment to perform acts and force others into acts which were designed to humiliate his victims in order to satisfy his own sexual desires.  He continued to do so for years after corporal punishment was abolished.

“He had established a fearsome reputation as a ruthless disciplinarian at the school which prevented his young and frightened victims reporting him at the time. 

“After many years of maintaining a façade of respectability, Alan Morris has now been unveiled as a serial sexual offender who evaded justice for his crimes for decades.”

Some offences also occurred at Morris’ home address under the guise of offering struggling pupils private tuition.

The abuse came to light in 2012 after Morris was due to be involved in a child baptism at a ceremony attended by one of his ex-pupils.

Following his arrest, he told police that he had regarded himself as the ‘Chief Policeman’ within the school and it was his role to investigate and punish misbehaviour.

A number of pornographic movies featured spanking activity were seized from his home and some also had teacher/pupil discipline scenarios.

Experts were also able to establish there were internet searches made for online forums and websites for men interested in sadomasochistic activity, with terms such as ‘school’, ‘spank’, ‘discipline4boys’, ‘cane’, and ‘schoolboy’ all searched for.

“We were absolutely taken aback by the sheer scale of his offending, which happened over so many years and involved so many boys and I must credit those who came forward to report what happened to them,” said Detective Chief Inspector Bridge.

“Because of their actions he has finally been brought to justice, however I have no doubt there are others out there still that we do not know about.

“We understand how difficult it is to open up about such offending and a person can only do so when they are truly ready. To them I say that if you can find the strength to talk to us, we will treat your case with empathy and sensitivity.”

Morris was found guilty of 19 offences of indecent assault against 10 boys and inciting a child to perform an act of gross indecency.

There were a further 28 offences involving 18 boys ordered to lie on file.

As part of the publicity surrounding the arrest of Alan Morris numerous other former pupils contacted police to report incidents of sexual abuse and assault.

The investigation established that four former pupils were also sexually assaulted by one former teacher.

A further 10 former pupils were also the subject of abuse by a different teacher.

Detectives established that both teachers were dead and, therefore, escaped being charged with serious sexual offences.

A number of other pupils made reports to police about the inappropriate use of corporal punishment. Again, it was established that many of the teachers named were dead.

“It is also important to highlight that this case is not just about Alan Morris,” said Detective Chief Inspector Bridge.

“We spoke to a significant amount of former pupils, many of whom were subjected to sexual abuse and others who received inappropriate corporal punishment.

“What this case has done is shine a spotlight on and expose a culture of sexual and physical abuse that was clearly rife in some quarters within the school, particularly in the 60s and 70s.

“While the school and its teachers are today unrecognisable in terms of safeguarding, it does show that there was – historically – widespread offending and I want to stress that if anyone was subjected to such an ordeal we will investigate and bring any living perpetrators to justice, as in this case.”

Anyone wishing to report abuse by Alan Morris or anyone else can speak to a dedicated team of officers on 0161 856 7573. Anyone not wishing to speak to an officer can also email them [email protected].

Main image courtesy of Anthony O’Neil, with thanks.

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